Seaham artist wowed by response to debut children's book inspired by dad's allotment

An artist has received hundreds of pre-orders for her debut children’s book which is inspired by her dad’s Seaham allotment.

Sunday, 6th December 2020, 7:00 am

Kylie Dixon has often found inspiration from her dad’s allotment in Hall Street and has long been fascinated with mushrooms and their symbolism.

As an artist, she often incorporates small mushrooms into her commissions, however, during lockdown she was encouraged to take her mushroom creations to the next level.

The artist, who runs her own ink art and gift business called Mushroom Marvellous, said: “In old English folklore spotting a mushroom in the wild is a symbol of hope and positivity and I often incorporate them as a symbol of hope in my ink art and other pieces.

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Author Kylie Dixon's first children's book, Inkcap and the Nethers.

“When lockdown hit I thought my business would fail because art isn’t a need, it’s a want. But I wanted to do something for the community, so I set up a Facebook group for people to do art activities with their families through tutorials and colouring competitions."

She added: “I’ve always had this world of mushrooms in my head. My dad has an allotment and I would draw characters based on things that grew there. I would imagine the adventures mushrooms would go on helping plants survive. I already had all these illustrations in my head, but the community on the Facebook group encouraged me to use them to create a children’s book.”

Entitled Inkcap & The Nethers, the first 500 copies of the book will be back from the printers in mid-December and more than 260 copies have already been pre-ordered.

"Never in a million years did I think I would sell this many copies already. The first 100 signed copies went in hours with a lot of those orders coming from people in Seaham and Sunderland,” said Kylie. “The book features 40 of my illustrations and is aimed at children aged 7-11, but it’s also designed to be read aloud.”

Inkcap and the Nethers.

If the book continues to sell well, Kylie plans to do a second print run.

*Inkcap & The Nethers, priced £7.99, is available for pre-order in time for Christmas from

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Illustrations from Inkcap and the Nethers.
Kylie's illustrations are inspired by mushrooms